Geshe Ngawang Wangyal: America’s First Pioneering Buddhist Lama

Oct 15, 2018 | Views: 1,483

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Geshe Ngawang Wangyal (1901 – 1983) led an incredible life. His story is all the more inspiring not because he had a comfortable life or an impressive title, but because he persevered in his spiritual journey despite the challenges he faced.

Born in Russia, Geshe Wangyal received his monastic education in both Russia and Tibet. He worked as a guide, translator and, at one time, even worked for the CIA’s Tibet Task Force.

Geshe Wangyal persevered to become the first lama to play a pivotal role in introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. He was also the one who brought His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the United States.

 

Early Life

Geshe Wangyal, a Kalmyk (Mongolian), was born Lidjiin Keerab on October 15, 1901 in the Astrakhan Province of south-eastern Russia, to Leiji and his wife Bolgan. His father, Leiji, passed away when he was less than one year old. His mother took him to a temple, where she had the following conversation with her son:

Mother: Buddha is a special being to whom we bow and pray. He will bless you when you bow down and pray, you must do so for the sake of all living beings.

Geshe Wangyal: If I pray for others, how will I get what I want?

Mother: By helping others your own aims will be achieved incidentally.

Source: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, The Door of Liberation: Essential Teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, p. xiv

Geshe Wangyal was the youngest of four siblings. Gunsang, one of his brothers who was eight years older than him, was a monk. His family often praised Gunsang for his choice, and this inspired the young boy to be ordained too. At the age of six, he entered a local monastery where his elder brother, Gunsang was a resident monk. From then on, Gunsang became responsible for his brother’s education. Gunsang was a good teacher. The young Geshe Wangyal was immediately assigned to learn the Tibetan language and memorise many Tibetan texts, and he excelled in whatever learning tasks that were assigned to him.

When he was 16 years old, Geshe Wangyal entered a medical school. His teacher was very proud of him due to his intelligence and thirst for knowledge; Geshe Wangyal was able to study a two-year curriculum within one year. However, the young teenager lost interest in medical studies after his teacher passed away at the end of the year.

Lama Agvan Dorjiev was Geshe Wangyal’s teacher

Lama Agvan Dorjiev was Geshe Wangyal’s teacher

Around this time, he met his root teacher, Lama Agvan Dorjiev, a famed diplomat and a debate partner of His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. Although Lama Dorjiev was very much involved with the political situation at the time, he remained committed to promoting the Tibetan Buddhist studies of the Yellow Hat (Gelug) tradition in Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Mongolia. Geshe Wangyal entered a monastic college that Lama Agvan Dorjiev had established in Kalmykia, and also received his main initiations and vows from Lama Agvan Dorjiev.

One summer, the teenage Geshe Wangyal contracted typhoid. His condition was so dire that his fellow monks lost all hope for his recovery. His mother came to the monastery to take care of him. She sucked the phlegm and pus out of his lungs and throat to prevent him from suffocating. When Geshe Wangyal regained consciousness, he found out that his mother had contracted typhoid through her efforts to save him and passed away on the same day that he recovered.

Geshe Wangyal was devastated by his mother’s death and tremendous sacrifice. At the same time, he was overwhelmed by a sense of thirst after his fever. He was appalled by this sense of selfishness and became determined to dedicate his life to liberate himself and others from such self-centred impulses. Throughout his life, Geshe Wangyal always spoke lovingly of his mother and said that he had never encountered such unconditional compassion in his life.

Lhasa in the 1920s

Lhasa in the 1920s

Lama Agvan Dorjiev recognised Geshe Wangyal’s intelligence and passion for Buddhist studies. He predicted that Geshe Wangyal would be able to complete a Geshe (Doctorate in Buddhism) curriculum at the Gelugpa monastic universities in Tibet, and helped him to travel there. Geshe Wangyal received the opportunity to travel to Tibet when Sergey Borisov, an official of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was given a secret assignment. The USSR’s foreign ministry had tasked him with going to Tibet to look for opportunities to proselytise communism. Their travel group posed as religious pilgrims and included genuine Buddhist pilgrims to bolster the façade. Borisov even presented himself as a Buryat Mongol lama during the months-long trek to Lhasa.

Lama Dorjiev arranged for the 21-year-old Geshe Wangyal to be included in Borisov’s group. He was aware of Borisov’s intentions and mission, so he advised the young Geshe Wangyal to separate himself from the group before entering the holy city of Lhasa to avoid being identified as a member of Borisov’s party. Like many geshe aspirants before him, Geshe Wangyal left with the full intention of returning to his hometown one day and spreading the Buddhadharma among his fellow Kalmyks.

 

The Scholar Who Earned His Living

In Lhasa, Geshe Wangyal continued his studies at Drepung Gomang Monastery. Between 1934 and 1935, driven by the need for financial resources, Geshe Wangyal decided to return to Kalmykia to raise the necessary funds to complete his studies. He returned home only to discover that the ruling communist government was persecuting the religious clergy, so Geshe Wangyal decided to return to Asia.

Sir Charles Alfred Bell

Sir Charles Alfred Bell

Geshe Wangyal found a way to earn a living through his friend and confidant, the British statesman and explorer Sir Charles Alfred Bell. Through Bell’s recommendation, Geshe Wangyal served as a guide, interpreter, and assistant during Bell’s Manchurian and Mongolian tour. Once his assignment with Bell was complete, Geshe Wangyal went to China where he compared the different editions of the Kangyur, the spoken words of the Buddha, and the Tangyur, the treatises of the Indian Buddhist commentators, for a publishing house. During this time, Geshe Wangyal taught himself the English language. He also travelled to Vietnam to work for a French diplomat.

His travels allowed him to save up enough funds to return to Tibet and re-enter Drepung Gomang Monastery. Once he obtained his Geshe degree, Geshe Wangyal divided his time between Kalimpong and China in the winter and Lhasa for the rest of the year. He also briefly visited England at the invitation of Marco Palis, a Greek-British author and mountaineer. This idyllic existence, however, was about to be cut short.

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

 

Escape to India

By the end of 1951, the Chinese Communist forces had expanded their presence from the eastern provinces to Central Tibet. Geshe Wangyal could not remain in Lhasa because he was known to be a Russian national. His status as a lama and a trader also put him at risk during a time when Communist forces sought to purify society of its bourgeois elements. Geshe Wangyal escaped to Kalimpong, India, where he came across a New York Times article about a group of Kalmyks who had established a community in Freewood Acres, New Jersey, USA. The article inspired him to move to the United States. Freewood Acres later became known as Howell.

Kalimpong in India

Kalimpong in India

 

The Background of Kalmyk Immigration to the United States

After World War II, during Joseph Stalin’s rule, many of the Kalmyks who opposed Communism sought refuge in the United States. In 1948, the United States government issued the Displaced Person (DP) Act, a humanitarian immigration program that authorised 200,000 displaced Europeans’ admission to the United States for permanent residence.

Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya and her famous father, Leo Tolstoy

Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya and her famous father, Leo Tolstoy

At first, there were some doubts as to whether the Kalmyks could be classified as Europeans. Fortunately, the Kalmyks received assistance from Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya, the youngest daughter of the famous Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, and her Tolstoy Foundation.

Countess Alexandra shared her father’s belief in non-violence. She was briefly imprisoned following the Bolshevik Revolution but was later released and installed as the director of the Tolstoy Museum. In 1929, Countess Alexandra emigrated to the United States. Ten years later, she established the Tolstoy Foundation. The original objective of the foundation was to assist refugees from the USSR and Europe, but it grew to include a larger charitable scope.

The Tolstoy Foundation

The Tolstoy Foundation

Through the Tolstoy Foundation, Countess Alexandra testified in front of the immigration tribunal that Kalmyks are Europeans. She argued that the Kalmyks had stayed in European Russia for many centuries and this fact far outweighed their Asian origins.

The tribunal initially rejected the idea that Kalmyks are Europeans but the decision was reversed a few months later by the United States Attorney General and the Board of Immigration Appeals. With their status as Europeans confirmed, the Kalmyks became eligible to enter the United States under the DP Act of 1948. Less than a year after their arrival in the Unites States, the Kalmyks established their first Tibetan Buddhist temple, Rashi Gempil Ling, which is also the first Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States.

Rashi Gempil Ling, the first Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States

Rashi Gempil Ling, the first Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States. This temple was 10 minutes walk from Tsem Rinpoche’s family home in Howell, New Jersey. Tsem Rinpoche as a youth would often come to this temple to receive teachings, initiations and attend Buddhist services.

 

VIDEO: Mongol History – Kalmyks in the USA, 1960s

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/MongolHistoryKalmykintheUSA1960s.mp4

 

Early Days in the United States

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, aboard La Liberté, arrives in America, February 3, 1955. John Lent/Associated Press

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, aboard La Liberté, arrives in America, February 3, 1955. John Lent/Associated Press

Thanks to the intervention of the Tolstoy Foundation, Geshe Wangyal’s application for a visa was finally granted by the American Consulate in New Delhi, India, in 1954. He boarded the La Liberté in France and arrived at the port of New York in January 1955 to become the first Kalmyk Mongolian lama in the United States.

Upon his arrival, Geshe Wangyal attempted to join both Rashi Gempil Ling and the newer Tibetan Buddhist centre, Tashi Lhunpo. Membership in either temple meant that Geshe Wangyal would not have to engage in fundraising activities to purchase the property needed to accommodate the Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Language program that he hoped to start. Geshe Wangyal aspired to establish a program similar to what his teacher, Lama Dorjiev, had created many years before in Kalmykia. Unfortunately, his requests to join Rashi Gempil Ling and Tashi Lhunpo were rejected due to the intervention of Dilowa Khutuktu (Telo Tulku Rinpoche), a Mongolian Tulku who came to the United States in 1949.

 

The Monk Who Worked for the CIA

Geshe Wangyal at Columbia University

Geshe Wangyal at Columbia University

Despite the rejection, an opportunity to raise the necessary funds to establish his education program fortuitously presented itself. From 1956 to the 1970s, Geshe Wangyal taught the Tibetan language at Columbia University.

Takster Rinpoche

Takster Rinpoche

Around the same time that he started teaching at Columbia University, the eldest brother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Thubten Jigme Norbu (Takster Rinpoche), helped Geshe Wangyal to secure a position on the CIA’s Tibet Task Force. Geshe Wangyal was assigned to develop the telecode used to communicate with the Tibetan Resistance movement.

Eight months before Geshe Wangyal’s arrival, the CIA sponsored Takster Rinpoche’s visit to the United States. Takster Rinpoche had previously visited the United States in 1951 to present an eyewitness account of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet to the American foreign policies and intelligence communities. On the second of such visits, Geshe Wangyal served as Takster Rinpoche’s interpreter during his meeting with the CIA.

According to Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison in their book The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet:

“Having dissected Tibetan grammar during years of poring over Buddhist texts, he had a particularly deep appreciation for its written form. His extended time as Bell’s interpreter had left him with reasonably good English skills. The U.S. government, for one, found his linguistic talents more than adequate: among his first Tibetan students at Columbia were two from the U.S. Army.”

Source: Conboy, Kenneth and Morrison, James, The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet, p. 51

The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet (click to download PDF)

Geshe Wangyal’s involvement with the CIA gave them the opportunity to play a significant role during the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet to India.

The guerrilla fighters assigned to ensure the Dalai Lama’s safety during this escape journey used the telecode developed by Geshe Wangyal to keep the CIA informed of their movements and to request Prime Minister Nehru to grant political asylum in India for the Dalai Lama, his family, and entourage.

After the Dalai Lama arrived in India, Geshe Wangyal focused on the next task, which was to bring the Dalai Lama to the United States.

The Dalai Lama when he entered India in 1959

The Dalai Lama when he entered India in 1959

 

Spreading the Dharma in the United States

Geshe Wangyal’s work with the CIA enabled him to secure a property and build a ranch-style home in Freewood Acres in 1958. The property would go on to become the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (LBMA), the first centre of Tibetan Buddhist academic studies in the United States.

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and a boyhood friend from Kalmykia, Dorji Purview, in the new altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1964. Courtesy of the David Urubshurow

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and a boyhood friend from Kalmykia, Dorji Purview, in the new altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1964. Courtesy of David Urubshurow.

The year 1960 held several milestones for Geshe Wangyal. He resigned from the CIA task force which continued without him for over ten years. He was also granted American citizenship and an American passport. That summer, Geshe Wangyal travelled to India for an audience with the Dalai Lama, who decided to send four Tibetan Buddhist lamas to Geshe Wangyal’s Freewood Acres centre to learn English and later teach Buddhism to receptive audiences. The four lamas were:

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  • Geshe Lhundup Sopa, who later became a professor of Buddhism at the University of Wisconsin;
  • Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, the founder of the Ewam Choden Buddhist centre in California; and
  • Sharpa Rinpoche and Kamlung Rinpoche, two teenage tulkus.

LBMA continued to sponsor many Tibetan lamas from the Tibetan settlements in India and provided them with English language lessons so that they could serve the Buddhist community in the United States. Geshe Wangyal also took on resident American students who gave English language lessons to the monks in exchange for classes in the Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhism.

Wangyal016a

Many of the teachers under this alumni program would go on to establish their own centres and attract many followers. One example is Geshe Lobsang Tharchin who arrived in the United States after the program began and became the longest-serving abbot at Rashi Gempil Ling. Through his sponsorship of Tibetan monks, Geshe Wangyal played a significant role in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.

Geshe Wangyal was also involved in the translation of two volumes of popular Tibetan and Sanskrit stories: The Prince who became a Cuckoo and The Door of Liberation. Geshe Wangyal also translated Illuminations: A Guide to Essential Buddhist Practices with Brian Cutillo, a scholar and translator in the field of Tibetan Buddhism.

 

The Expansion Continued

Not long after the arrival of the first batch of lamas from India, LBMA received its first group of Harvard students: including Jeffrey Hopkins, Christopher George and others. Geshe Wangyal taught them Buddhism and, in return, his students from Harvard provided English language lessons to the newly-arrived monks and helped out at the centre. Jeffrey Hopkins would go on to receive his doctorate degree and teach Buddhism at the University of Virginia. He also wrote many books on Tibetan Buddhism.

Geshe Wangyal with his students, Jeffrey Hopkins, Robert Thurman, and Christopher George

Geshe Wangyal with his students from Harvard, including Jeffrey Hopkins and Christopher George

In the 1960s, more Americans came to study with Geshe Wangyal and the Tibetan monks. To accommodate the situation and his wish to retire, Geshe Wangyal bought land in Washington, New Jersey, and left his Howell monastery in the care of the resident Tibetan monks. The retreat house was completed in 1968 and, in 1975, Geshe Wangyal and his students built the Schoolhouse.

In 1979, Geshe Wangyal sold the Howell monastery and moved the Tibetan monks to a newly-purchased property in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Aside from fundraising, building, and teaching his students, Geshe Wangyal was also closely involved in the planning of the Labsum Shedrup Ling or Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center’s physical facilities, which was his centre in Washington, New Jersey.

TBLC in Washington, New Jersey

The Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC) also known as Labsum Shedrup Ling in Washington, New Jersey

 

Inviting the Dalai Lama to the United States

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In 1964, Geshe Wangyal took one of his American students to India and introduced him to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. This student was the first Westerner ordained by the Dalai Lama, and he served briefly as a Tibetan Buddhist monk.

Two undergraduate students from Harvard, Joel McCleary and Joshua Cutler, who took an introductory course on Tibetan Buddhism expressed their interest in continuing with their Buddhist studies, so were introduced to Geshe Wangyal in the summer of 1971. McCleary recalled that Geshe Wangyal’s first assignment to him was “Bring the Dalai Lama to America.”

Geshe Wangyal and the Dalai Lama in 1979

Geshe Wangyal and the Dalai Lama in 1979

By this time, Geshe Wangyal had successfully brought over many Tibetan lamas to the United States. Bringing the Dalai Lama over, however, proved to be an undertaking of Herculean proportions made worse by obstacles of a political nature. In December 1959, President Eisenhower rejected the Tibetans’ request to meet with the Dalai Lama. Some people viewed this rejection as a sign that the United States saw the Dalai Lama as Persona Non Grata, or an unwelcome person.

Once he was given the task of bringing the Dalai Lama to the United States, McCleary began a relentless campaign of writing to various leaders of Congress to request their support. In 1977, McCleary became the Deputy Assistant to President Carter’s Administration. He succeeded in obtaining the help of Deputy Assistant Tom Beard to help him reverse the State Department’s policy on the Dalai Lama issue. Through their lobbying efforts, McCleary and Beard gained many staunch supporters who later became the Dalai Lama’s best friends when he finally arrived in America.

David Urubshurow, age 11, lights a butter lamp in the original altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America while Geshe Ngawang Wangyal reads and translates sutras, 1959. Courtesy of David Urubshurow.

David Urubshurow, age 11, lights a butterlamp in the original altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America while Geshe Ngawang Wangyal reads and translates sutras, 1959. Courtesy of David Urubshurow.

McCleary and Beard managed to bring the issue of the Dalai Lama’s visit to the highest level of the government. They presented it as an extension of President Carter’s commitment to human rights and a hallmark of his foreign policy. The issue soon became the agenda for the National Security Council where McCleary and Beard, accompanied by Hopkins and Tenzin Tethong from the Office of Tibet in New York City, made a compelling argument in favour of the visit.

Another beautiful picture of the Dalai Lama and Geshe Wangyal taken in August 1981

Another beautiful picture of the Dalai Lama and Geshe Wangyal taken in August 1981

In September 1979, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in the United States for the first time to commence a seven-week nationwide teaching tour. His first lecture took place at the LBMA in New Jersey, and his first private audience was given to Joel and April McCleary. The Dalai Lama’s maiden visit to the United States marked the beginning of the world’s and America’s love affair with him. The Dalai Lama would visit LBMA a total of eight times.

In 1981, after the Dalai Lama concluded his second teaching visit to LBMA, Geshe Wangyal gathered all his closest friends and disciples at the LBMA’s schoolhouse library to bid farewell to His Holiness. When the Dalai Lama arrived, Geshe Wangyal burst into tears as His Holiness hugged him and playfully tugged at his long goatee. Finally, His Holiness also started to weep. That was the last meeting between the Dalai Lama and Geshe Wangyal.

 

Later Life

A picture of the older Geshe Wangyal

A picture of the older Geshe Wangyal

Four months before his death, Geshe Wangyal offered the building in New Brunswick where he housed the Tibetan monks to the Dalai Lama’s charitable organisation, The Tibet Fund. He then arranged for the monks in New Brunswick to be moved to the Washington centre.

He also appointed his long-time students, Joshua and his wife, Diana Cutler, as his administrative successors. He gave them the assignment of building a temple on the TBLC grounds in memory of Alice Scudder Rayburn, Geshe Wangyal’s student and sponsor, who had passed away six months earlier. It was his wish that this temple would become the residence of the Dalai Lama whenever he visited.

On January 30, 1983 Geshe Wangyal passed away peacefully.

 

Legacy

In the summer of 1991, David Urubshurow, one of Geshe Wangyal’s longtime students, had the privilege of accompanying His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his visit to Kalmykia in southeastern Russia where he received a warm welcome. A person asked him, “Your Holiness, why are you here?” His Holiness immediately replied,

“I am here because of my friend Geshe Wangyal.”

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Addendum: H.E. Tsem Rinpoche & Geshe Ngawang Wangyal

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https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TsemRinpocheOnGesheNgawangWangyal.mp4

Transcript
When I was adopted over, back in 1972, to the United States, I was six going on seven years old. I was given over to a Mongolian family, which is also part of my heritage, and the particular group of Mongolians that I was given over to were called Kalmyks or Kalmyk Mongolians. They were situated in the tri-state area in the eastern part of the United States, which is namely Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey. So, in this tri-state area, the Kalmyk Mongolians were living and made it their home, because it was very difficult for them to live in their homeland and practise their religion, with the onslaught of the Stalinist regime and the communist regime in Russia at that time.

Tsem Rinpoche as a young boy and the Kalmyk family he was adopted into

Tsem Rinpoche as a young boy and the Kalmyk family he was adopted into

So the Kalmyks, who were traditionally Buddhists, immigrated to Europe and from Europe immigrated to the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The Kalmyks are very strong in their practice and faith of Buddhism, as they have been for many centuries. Therefore, in New Jersey itself, they had established four very beautiful Buddhist temples, and they also have it in Philadelphia.

When I was adopted over to the United States, I went to Howell, New Jersey. And Howell, New Jersey had a large community of immigrant Mongolian people, Kalmyk people, Kalmyk Mongols, and they had settled there and built their temples. In Howell New Jersey, there were three Kalmyk Mongolian Buddhist Temples and then in North Jersey, in Washington, New Jersey, this was in the northern part of the state of New Jersey, there was a Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center that was opened and developed by the Mongolian Geshe, Geshe Wangyal.

Kalmyk Mongols preserved their ancient practice of Buddhism in America

Kalmyk Mongols preserved their ancient practice of Buddhism in America

So what happened was, all of the Mongolians would attend regular temple service, rituals, holidays, prayers. Whenever there was a Buddhist holiday, such as Tsongkhapa’s Day, then people would attend and engage in prayers, the monks would chant and do rituals, and the lay people would sit in the temple and recite mantras, while they turned the prayer wheel. That was one of my favourite times of going to the temple.

I visited all three temples in Howell, New Jersey, and whenever I had free time, I would particularly go to Nitsan Temple, and Rashi Gempil Ling Temple. Rashi Gempil Ling Temple is the seat of my first teacher, Geshe Lobsang Tharchin. Later, he became the abbot and he was known as Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche. So Rashi Gempil Ling Temple, which is built by the Kalmyk Mongolian people in the community there, was built, sustained, maintained by the Mongolian Kalmyk community there. It’s a very beautiful temple. And I would go there for services, for prayers, for classes, and what not, and that was literally five minutes bike ride from my house. If I was to walk, it would be about ten to fifteen minutes, because it was very, very nearby, so I was very, very fortunate.

The Mongolian community in Washington, New Jersey, well, the Mongol Geshe in Washington, New Jersey, of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Kalmyk Mongols of New York and Philadelphia, and New Jersey, all combined, and invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1979 to the United States. This was spearheaded by the great Mongolian master, Geshe Wangyal.

So, Geshe Wangyal made the arrangements, he made the request, and he made the preparations. And naturally, all of the Mongolian people who have been connected to the Dalai Lama for many centuries, all the various Dalai Lamas for many centuries, were very excited. I remember His Holiness came in 1979, he visited all three temples of Nitsan, Tashi Lhunpo and Rashi Gempil Ling Temple. He visited all the three temples in Howell, New Jersey, and he graciously also visited the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, New Jersey.

What was very exciting was we all took a bus, the Mongolian people chartered a bus, many buses actually, many buses to Washington, New Jersey. I think it was about a two-hour ride, not too far, pleasant ride, to Washington, New Jersey, which has a large piece of land up at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, and it was very green, and forested.

Geshe Wangyal's centre was at the base of beautiful Appalachian Mountains

Geshe Wangyal’s centre was at the base of beautiful Appalachian Mountains

Geshe Wangyal had a special house and residence built for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, that had his own temple, he had his own residence there, and while we were there, they were in the process of building a lake, and he had tents set up all over the land, and he had reception centres. He had a beautiful area to receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the people there.

I can’t remember exactly how many people because back then in 1979 I was 14, so at least there would be at least 400-500 persons there, maybe even more. Because I know among the Kalmyks, Kalmyk Mongols, there were at least 300-400 persons. And so, we were very excited because Geshe Wangyal invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Washington centre, and under the auspices, the sponsorship and the spearheading of Geshe Wangyal. It was really exciting because when we arrived by bus there, we had a chance to meet Geshe Wangyal, and it was the first time that I had met this Kalmyk Mongolian master, and he gave me his blessings, and by that time he was already much older, I don’t know how old, but he was much older. I remember his distinctive white goatee, and of course he spoke fluent Mongolian, and Tibetan, and some English, and the whole place was set up so beautifully.

A depiction of Buddha Nageshvaraja, with white face and blue body

A depiction of Buddha Nageshvaraja, with white face and blue body

The main picture that was set up outside was the Buddha Nagaraja, who had a white head, and a blue body, and who is one of the Buddhas of the Thirty-five Confessional Buddhas Sutra. There were many offerings everywhere, beautiful tents, and a throne was set up outside, and it was absolutely a beautiful, cool day. I think it was around September, so it was already early fall. So, it was not cold, but it was cool, and it was very crisp, very clear, and very nice.

His Holiness had already been resting in his room, and the next thing we knew was Geshe Wangyal in the traditional manner, with incense, invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama out of his room, to the throne and dais where he was going to give the teachings, under a tent, outdoors. It was a very beautiful moment, and His Holiness came out, and he sat on the throne, and Geshe Wangyal made the traditional prostrations and offerings, and everybody sat down.

I remember, when His Holiness arrived, there was a very light, misty rain. Nobody got wet. It was just a very light mist appeared, and there were rainbows all over the place. Then there was a little white butterfly that kept hovering around His Holiness’ head, not landing on the Dalai Lama’s head, or not falling on the Dalai Lama’s head, but just hovering around it, for, you know, I think about fifteen, twenty minutes, and then flew away.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama proceeded to give us teachings on the “Eight Verses of Thought Transformation”, and he gave explanations on each of the eight verses, and on top of that, he gave an explanation on how to meditate on it, and he advised us to recite the “Eight Verses” every single day, which I started to do from that time onwards. He also gave us the oral transmission of Avalokiteshvara’s mantra, Chenrezig’s mantra – Om Mani Padme Hum.

It was very, very beautiful and if I remember the teachings were about two to three hours, and I cried throughout most of the teachings because I felt very happy to receive these teachings and they felt very familiar, and they felt very appropriate. I felt that the teachings were very appropriate and very familiar, and comfortable, for lack of a better description of how I felt. Afterwards, we all lined up and we had the fortune to go up personally and offer a khata, a white silk traditional greeting scarf to His Holiness, and receive his blessings, and he gave each of us a hand blessing, which is he places his hand on our head, and also a red string that has been tied in a knot in the centre, which contains blessed mantras, blown on by His Holiness.

Four-armed Chenrezig

Four-armed Chenrezig. Click to enlarge.

So, I was extremely excited, and I remember before this, I had taken two or three weeks to paint a poster of the Four-armed Avalokiteshvara. I painted the Avalokiteshvara, and I painstakingly put a lot of details and all that on it, and on the back, I composed a prayer. I composed a prayer to praise His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and his indivisibility with Avalokiteshvara, and I prayed that I will be close to him and not be separated from him in this life and future lives. So I had composed that prayer in my little childish writing, and then I wrote it at the back of the painting, and I had this all prepared.

So, when I went to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I’ve offered this painting up, and he graciously accepted it, and I flipped it to the back and he was reading it. I was holding people up in line, and people were kind of giving me that look that I was holding people up in line, so I said to His Holiness he can read it later, he doesn’t have to read it now because there is a lot of people waiting. He smiled, and so he accepted the painting, and that was my first meeting with His Holiness in New Jersey, besides meeting him in Howell, of course, briefly.

After that was done, we had our lunch there and there were so many Kalmyk people there, there were so many Kalmyk kids, all of my relatives were there, and it was just a very beautiful, wonderful day. We went to say thank you to Geshe Wangyal for all of this, and we took our bus, and went back to New Jersey, and that was that. You have to understand that for many years, I had, for many years, since I was nine, ten, eleven, twelve years old, wanted to study Buddhism very deeply, I wanted to become a Buddhist monk, I wanted to go to the mountains to meditate, and for years, I would be in my house in Howell, New Jersey, my family house, and I would often paint or draw, or use crayons to colour in different paintings, different drawings, different illustrations of mountains, and people meditating in mountains and people seeing Buddhas while they are meditating, having visions of Buddhas, having visions of their personal yidams or meditational deities.

So I’d be drawing this and I’d be visualising this, and fantasising about this for many, many years, even as a child. I felt very familiar with meditating in the mountains, I felt very familiar with monks, and I felt that I should be wearing robes. I felt that robes were the appropriate clothes for me, and also, that I should be among monks. I felt very much like an outsider to be with lay people, and I felt very comfortable to be with monks. So I would often go to the nearby temples, the Kalmyk temples, to be with monks, talk with the monks, and visit them as much as possible, as much as my mother would allow me. She was very restrictive on that.

After I saw the Washington temple, it made a very deep impact on me, and I thought, what a beautiful place to live, what a beautiful place to stay, because it’s in the Appalachian Mountain base, it’s filled with trees and it’s green, and how lovely it would be if I can go there, and live there, become ordained as a monk and study there. And I thought about that.

A young Tsem Rinpoche with his adopted mother

A young Tsem Rinpoche with his adopted mother

So, what happened was I’ve had many, many problems with my parents, due to a lot of issues my mother had with my father, which I will not get into at this time. She was a very disturbed, and unhappy, and very angry woman, although she was a very kind woman. She was a good person, but because of her tumultuous relationship with her husband, my stepfather, it often disturbed her mental equilibrium. It often disturbed her mind, and she was not at peace. I would be the brunt of her unhappiness, where I would receive a lot of, I would say, scolding and physical abuse, beatings and all that for many, many years. I took it because I did love her. But my yearning was to go to the temple, was to study at the temple, and she was 100 percent against that.

Although being a very staunch and strong Buddhist herself, I was her only son, she adopted me to be her son. It is not Kalmyk tradition to allow your only son to be a Sangha. If you had three, four, or five sons, you can perhaps spare one son, for lack of a better word, to the monasteries, as it was Mongolian tradition, and also Tibetan tradition. In any case, as being the only son, I wasn’t allowed to become a monk, or study Buddhism. I would have to stay in a secular way of life, which I totally rejected.

My conflict with my mom also became stronger because of that. As a result, I ran away from home many times, where I literally packed my stuff when she wasn’t around, and I would get on the bus and go to various parts of the United States. One of my first, one of my earlier attempts of running away was when I was fourteen. I mean I had run away earlier than that, but that was an earlier attempt of running away, because I had run away at eleven, I had run away at twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, I run away many times because I really wanted to go study Buddhism.

When I was around fourteen, fifteen, around that time I remember, that I had a fall out with my mom. She wouldn’t allow me to go to the temple to receive teachings from my teacher anymore, the temple was Rashi Gempil Ling, so I decided to leave. When she wasn’t around, I packed my bags and I had left home. When I’d left, it was in winter, and it was snowing, and it was a lot of snow in New Jersey, the snow is very, big amounts, you know, it could be two or three foot of snow back then.

What I had done was, I had packed my bags and I wanted to go to Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and that’s what I did. I packed my bags and I went to Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and I got on the bus, and then I somehow arrived in Washington, New Jersey. When I arrived in Washington, New Jersey, this was like half a year, one year later, when I had run away, I forgot the name of the place where Geshe Wangyal was, and I forgot the name of the centre and all that.

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre which is also known as Labsum Shedrup Ling

I went to the public library in Washington, New Jersey, and it was open. There was a very lovely librarian there. I had not told her I had run away or anything, I just said that I am looking for a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Washington, New Jersey, and she had heard of it. So, she went on to do some search. You know, back then they had microfiche, and they had these microfiche machines. She went on a search, and she found some newspaper articles, and from that she found the location of Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and the telephone number and all of that, and she gave it to me. I was ever so grateful.

I went to a phone booth, and I called up the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in my youthful innocence, and I requested to talk to Geshe Wangyal. The lady on the phone was very kind, she said to me Geshe Wangyal is not here at this time because it is winter, and that he had gone to Florida, where he usually goes every winter, because it’s drier and hotter, and it was easier for his arthritis. So needless to say, I was very disappointed, but I still spoke to her, she asked me what did I want, and I said I wanted Geshe Wangyal’s permission to join the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and become a monk, and study and stay there. So, the lady on the phone said to me she couldn’t make that decision for me, and that I should call back in a short while, that she would call Geshe-la and seek his advice.

So I think I waited for about an hour, and I called back and the lady said that she had contacted Geshe Wangyal la in Florida. And he had said that he is very happy to see my energy and my strength of will to practice Buddhism, but in America I would need my parents’ permission, since I was a minor, to stay at his centre. Without my parents’ permission it would be illegal for him to allow me to stay at his centre, although he was very happy to hear that I wanted to study Buddhism.

He had said to me to promise him to go back home and seek my parents’ permission and not stay in Washington, but to be safe at home and then study at a later time and that he would lend me $50 dollars to do so. The $50 dollars were for me to stay in a hotel and the next day to take a bus trip back to Howell, New Jersey, which was in the south.

Because such a great master had said this to me through his assistant, this lady – I don’t remember this lady’s name, I reluctantly agreed. So this lady drove down to the centre of Washington Town, because they are in the outskirts, in the mountains. She talked to me and she listened to me. I told her how much I wanted to study Buddhism, how much I wanted to become a monk, and how disappointed I am that I cannot join the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre.

She said to me that Geshe la is sympathetic to my plight, very sympathetic to what I wish to do but that America has strict laws and this would not be allowed. She said to me that she was instructed to “pass $50 to you. Are you going to take this and stay in a hotel and rest? And then take a bus back tomorrow and be safe? Do you promise to do this? Geshe la wants you to promise.” So, I said to her that “I promise.”

She gave me $50 dollars and I went to a hotel, a cheap hotel, at that time to stay. I think it was 20-30 dollars. I thought that although I had promised this master, although he is not my teacher, that I would have to do that. The next day I took a bus back to Howell, New Jersey. I went back home and well, I was in big trouble. There was scolding and beating and screaming and shouting. The usual which I have endured for many years. I told my mother what I did and she was not pleased, needless to say.

So that was my first encounter and second encounter, or association with Geshe la. It was many, many years later that His Holiness the Dalai Lama again visited Geshe Wangyal’s centre, back in 1987. So, it was eight years later that he visited the Tibetan Learning Centre again in Washington, New Jersey. I went up there and this time I was 21-22 years old. I had a short blessing from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and at that time I requested him that I wish to become a monk and if he can ordain me. This has been captured on video, which I will include here.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama accepted and he was very happy. He was very pleased and he said that if I come to India, it would be no problem, he would ordain me into the Buddhist monkhood. I accepted and I was very, very excited. In Geshe Wangyal’s Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre, in Washington, New Jersey is where I met the Dalai Lama again in 1987 and where I requested to become ordained. So it was right at that spot in Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre. It was in Geshe Wangyal’s centre that I requested to become a monk and later I flew to India in 1987 to become a Buddhist monk.

When I arrived in India, I went to Dharamsala and I had audience with His Holiness and I was official ordained. So that was my little bit of association and connection or interaction with the great Buddhist master Geshe Wangyal. I thought I would share that here on this blogpost, it would be somewhat appropriate. Thank you very much.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

VIDEO: Tsem Rinpoche requesting H.H. Dalai Lama for ordination in 1987


Postscript
Tsem Rinpoche requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama for ordination in 1987 at Geshe Ngawang Wangyal’s centre in Washington, New Jersey. During another earlier visit to the centre, before Geshe Wangyal passed away in 1983, Tsem Rinpoche found Geshe Wangyal’s assistant who had given him $50 at the instructions of Geshe Wangyal when he tried to run away to the centre previously. Tsem Rinpoche had not forgotten that the money was borrowed, so explained to the assistant who he was and that he was returning the $50.

She was happy to see that he was well and insisted that he give the money back to Geshe Wangyal himself. She led him over to Geshe Wangyal, who by that time was in a wheelchair and hard of hearing. She asked Geshe Wangyal if he remembered that a young boy had wanted to join his centre and that he had instructed her to give him $50 so that he could stay in a hotel before returning back to his parents. Geshe Wangyal replied that he did indeed remember. So, the assistant introduced Tsem Rinpoche as that boy and Tsem Rinpoche returned the money to Geshe Wangyal.

Geshe Wangyal was very pleased that Tsem Rinpoche was well. He accepted the money and was happy that Tsem Rinpoche had used the money to get back to his parents successfully.

 

Sources:

  • Conboy, Kenneth and Morrison, James. The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet. The University Press Kansas, 2000.
  • Wangyal, Geshe Ngawang. The Door of Liberation: Essential Teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. Wisdom Publications, 1995.
  • http://www.tricycle.com/feature/russia-love
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/from-russia-with-love.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngawang_Wangyal
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Geshe_Ngawang_Wangyal
  • https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Geshe_Ngawang_Wangyal
  • http://www.labsum.org/welcome.html
  • http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/collections/ethnology/asia/tibet/charles-bell/related-person-51105-1.aspx

 

For more interesting information:

 

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6 Responses to Geshe Ngawang Wangyal: America’s First Pioneering Buddhist Lama

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  1. Hi on Feb 20, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Geshe Ngawang Wangyal is a Kalmyk-Mongolian lama who was the first to come to America. He established the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in 1958 in New Jersey as the first Tibetan Buddhist Dharma centre in the West. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, was the first Tibetan Buddhist lama in the United States to take on American students. He built a monastery in Howell with his own funds earned through teaching during his first years in this country. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal sponsored many Tibetan monastic scholars to come to the US and to assist with monastery activities by giving teachings and performing religious ceremonies. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal had successfully brought over many Tibetan lamas to the United States including His Holiness The Dalai Lama. He also took on resident American students, who tutored the monks in English language in exchange for classes in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language. He sold the monastery in Howell and brought the Tibetan monks to a newly purchased building in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Before his death , he offered this building to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in whom he had great faith, by donating it to His Holiness’s charitable organization, The Tibet Fund. Beside that, Tsem Rinpoche and Geshe Ngawang Wangyal also a Kalmyks-Mongolian.
    As Tsem Rinpoche said, “When I arrived in India, I went to Dharamsala and I had audience with His Holiness and I was official ordained. So that was my little bit of association and connection or interaction with the great Buddhist master Geshe Wangyal”. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this great story.

  2. Yee Yin on Oct 7, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Geshe Ngawang Wangyal has contributed so much to the spread of Buddhism in the west. He was very determined to learn Dharma. Even when he was facing financial difficulty, he worked his way to get his funding in order to accomplish his study.

    His mother had affected him in his spiritual practice. Through his mother’s unconditional love, he realised he had to do the same in order to repay the kindness of his mother.

    Geshe Ngawang Wangyal was also the person who brought the Dalai Lama over to the US despite the difficulties he faced. If it was not for Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, Tsem Rinpoche would not have met the Dalai Lama and eventually ordained by him.

  3. Pastor Shin Tan on May 17, 2019 at 10:05 am

    The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. I hope many Mongolians will print out this image and place in their houses to create an affinity with Dorje Shugden for greater blessings. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz

    The powerful Mongolian nation has a long history and connection with Manjushri Dorje Shugden, as expressed in the life of Venerable Choijin Lama, a State Oracle of Mongolia who took trance of Dorje Shugden among other Dharma Protectors. Read more about Choijin Lama: https://bit.ly/2GCyOUZ

    Mongolian Dorje Shugden 2

  4. Samfoonheei on Oct 20, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Geshe Ngawang Wangyal was a Buddhist priest and scholar of Kalmyk origin born in the Astrakhan province,Russia. Folowing his brother footsteps he became a monk at a young age , he was able to learn the Tibetan language and could memorised many Tibetan texts. Geshe Wangyal’s intelligence and passion for Buddhist studies lead him working hard to continue his studies. His struggles paid off and during the Chinese invasion he has helped in the escape of HH Dalai Lama to India. The rest is history and later he made his way to New Jersey his home , working for CIA and as a translator then. In the later years he managed to established and built a Buddhist monastery. He gave teachings to many students of Western background and sponsoring many Tibetian Lamas and monks from India to serve the Buddhist community in the United States. He played a significant role in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the United States. He has worked tireless to benefit many people , had translated two volumes of popular Tibetan and Sanskrit stories illustrative of Buddhist teachings. His legacy still lives on till today.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting read with folded hands.

  5. Tsa Tsa Ong on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    It’s always a wonderful blessing to read Rinpoche’s sharing personal life experiences about Rinpoche’s Gurus. Especially about Geshe Ngawang Wangyal. It’s very inspiring and a lovely write up. Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for this interesting article. ????

  6. Datuk May on Oct 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Through a very diverse journey from USSR to the United States, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal never wavered from being a Buddhist scholar and a Lama Monk.

    It is inspiring to read of the life Geshe Ngawang Wangyal who always learnt in all his situations whether good or bad.

    It is the will to always hold the Dharma and to teach others to benefit from Buddhism, that Geshe Ngawang Wangyal succeeded in all his endeavours including being the first American Pioneering Buddhist Lama to having the H.H the 14th Dalai Lama’s first visit to USA.

    Inspiring story of a Leader among men.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2020 02:00 PM
    Celebrities like Pink , Chrissie Hynde , Sir Paul McCartney, Benji Madden naming a few who had use their fame for good cause. These celebrities truly are using their impactful voices to influence millions to do good, voicing opinions on matters such as fighting against illegal fishing, created viral memes to educate people about climate change, speaking out for women’s rights , eating healthy foods and to be a vegetarian for good to save animals been slaughter and so on. These celebrities have tremendous influence, acting as role models to many young people so as adults, even with their busy schedule. They has been influential in supporting its mission of saving animals been slaughter for human consumption across the globe. Great and truly inspiring.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/cause-celebre-celebrities-with-a-cause.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2020 01:57 PM
    Looking at the pictures tells us more….sad and heart-felt seeing those innocent kittens is shot dead by someone who is so cruel. How can whoever who did it so senseless . What goes around will comes around. The mother cat kept licking the kittens, from the picture ,heart broken seeing all her love ones dead. Could not imagine that situation, sad that one of the kitten had the chest cut open and heart exposed with the neck tied with a rope. The other three kittens were already been shot yet their heads were stepped on. Horrible death those poor kittens, may these kitten have a good rebirth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/guess-why-the-tragic-cries.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2020 01:55 PM
    Reading this blog and feeling sad . Soolam a Golden Retriever, who was a service dog specifically trained to perform work and assist the writer since as a small furry. Soolam was one loyal companion and dear friend indeed to the writer. To euthanize a furry friend is hard felt for the writer as the Golden Retriever could not stand or walk, and even eat. Whatever he eats will throw out. Looking at the pictures the heartfelt writer hold on spending a precious moments with his doggie before he was euthanized. Soolam was a celebrity featuring in scores of times in newspapers, TV and radio. He even appeared as the main star of a special video about service dogs. The writer brought him everywhere he goes for meetings , travelling long distance and so forth over the decades. Well…. he finally laid to rest with his friend. The writer later found Zhar a new friend during a very strange coincidence.
    A beautiful story indeed , with a happy ending.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/have-you-had-a-friend-like-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 02:09 PM
    From lush rainforest to deserts, frogs are found in every environment on earth. There are many different species as well and colourful too. Unfortunately, an equally-horrific new fad has recently popped up in China, where millions of frogs are being coloured with industrial dyes. Those dyes contains a very high doses of chemical which is harmful to the frogs. They seem to be a popular trend in China and are in high demand at aquariums and ponds , some been keeping it as pets. Everywhere at wet market in China, the dyed frogs are being sold. The effect of injections of chemicals into the frog would be horribly injured or killed the frog. Recording to research the dyes being used on the frogs are dangerous and harmful to human as well.
    May all sales of these coloured frogs must be banned. Its more or less abusing animals in such a way frogs were treated as objects and not living creatures in need of care. In no time all these frogs will go extinction .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/coloured-frogs.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 02:08 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these meaningful and heartfelt pictures of those horses. Yes looking at those pictures indeed paint a thousand words. It is truly sad seeing that poor horse Jerry had to suffer. Making horses pull oversized loads like carriages is indeed cruel. They are forced to toil in all weather extremes, heavy traffic all day long. Well they might suffer in silence debilitating leg problems in long term as they have to walk on hard surfaces. Horses would definitely love to be free living on green fields where it’s a better environment for them. They could run freely as they wish. In many cities, horse-drawn carriages are seen as tourist attractions. Even though horse-drawn carriages have been in use for thousands of years , I do hope more countries will ban horse drawn carriages. Recent years many cities around the world are banning horse-drawn carriages. Great news as horse are not mend for hard surfaces, in heavy traffic and so forth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/9-special-photos.html
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 01:49 PM
    There’s nothing in this world like the unconditional happiness our 4-legged buddies give us humans. And, just like our 5 fingers, each of them are gifted with their own personality and unique qualities.

    We should have a first hand knowledge before adopting one. Dog behaviour can be puzzling to both new and experienced dog owners.Thank you very much for the informative article.


    https://bit.ly/33l4Qzo
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 01:10 AM
    Thank you for the beautiful and historical sharing of Baba Nyonya community in Malaysia. As we know this group is small and their journey begins first at Malacca, then continued to Penang, Singapore, and Indonesia.

    The intermarriage between Chinese and Malay except formed a unique lifestyle and also created out a new culture, customs, festivals, tradition foods clothing, design and entertainment.

    May this rich culture and colourful tradition be preserved and practiced by the younger generation, and do hope this special heritage will live everlasting with us.

    https://bit.ly/3lbHmCK
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 26. 2020 02:28 PM
    Every where there is spirits or unseen beings . Even old tress do have spirits too. Heard of it those days but for one to see it daily is scary. I am sure Rinpoche’s mother had goose bumps seeing the old man spirit. Luckily not a harmful spirit. Tree spirit is a nature deity related to a tree and are present in many cultures. As many of us do believed that if we cut down a tree with a spirit dwelling in it, is not so good. We are disturbing them. To avoid any misfortune we have prayers to appease the tree spirits, asking their permission to do so…..clearing obstacles or any ugly incident happenings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-tree.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 26. 2020 02:26 PM
    nspiring video of a Portuguese boy with strong imprints. His dinner plate was served with rice, potatoes and octopus tentacles. After some questioning he told his mother that animals are not supposed to be eaten, but to be taken care of. This surprised his mother as her young son understands about the killings of animals. He don’t want to hurt animals , he knew the pain and sufferings of animals been killed . That’s wonderful , it’s a good beginning for a young boy to have compassion for animals at such a young age.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/portuguese-4-yo-boy-doesnt-want-to-eat-meat.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 26. 2020 02:22 PM
    Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical belief that the soul after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s karma. Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson has investigated many reports of young children who claimed to remember a past life. Interesting findings. The belief in reincarnation is held by adherents of almost all major religions. Hence life after death and the possibility of reincarnation do happen. What happens to us when we die? Well this is an old question for which religions have provided answers with faith. One of the mysteries puzzling human mind since the origin of mankind is the concept of “reincarnation”. I do believe in reincarnation and have come across friends who remembered their past lives. Recently I met an Indian Sikh lady who’s past life was a Buddhist. Beautiful stories from her too.
    Interesting read of this blog tells us more.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-mysteries-reincarnation.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2020 03:58 PM
    Thank you for the article and video sharing. It’s sad to see the reality of live of some people in the world has to go through so much suffering at younger age to survive.

    The early involvement of child labour is caused by their parents due the families economic hardship, parents need their help to perform their work or replacements when they are sick or old. Unfortunately the brick kiln management taking opportunity to misuse the labour by performing multiple task and treating them as slave.

    I do greatly appreciate the rightful action will be taken to prevent and to provide the new guidelines against the brick kiln owners who have tried to exploit workers.

    https://bit.ly/2UZha3N
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2020 01:54 PM
    Interesting read about Goddess Gemu, being worshipped by the ancient tribal community Mosuo people in both Shamanistic Animism Tibetan Buddhism. The Mosuo are considered the last-remaining matriarchal society in China, where they are a culturally-rich people. The traditional Mosuo religion worships nature, with Lugu Lake regarded as the Mother Goddess. Their practice is incorporated to the Tibetan Buddhism practice in the region for decades. The Mosuo has their own syncretic faith called Daba and the influence of Tibetan Buddhism. The Goddess Gemu is the most widely worshipped by the Mosuo people. Glad to note that the traditional shamanism based Daba faith is concertedly with the Tibetan Buddhism faith. The Zha Mei monastery which is a gelupa monastery had a strong affiliation with Dorje Shugden and at the same accepted the worshiping of this Goddess. The 5 th Panglung Kuten did took Dorje Shugden trance at this monastery . Strangely the CTA cannot accept the practice of Dorje Shugden on the hand could accept an unenlightened protector deity Godess Gemu. The practice of Dorje Shugden is indeed very beneficial so as the practice of Daba faith to the Mosus people.
    Well, may the Dorje Shugden ban soon going down into history for the benefits of all sentient beings.
    Thank you Valentina for a detail write up on the Gemu Goddess and those rare pictures of oracles by Dr.Joseph Rock who had explored the Tibetan borderlands .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/gemu-goddess-of-mosuo.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2020 01:52 PM
    Walpola Rahula Thero was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, world renowned scholar and writer. Dr. Rahula is the first Buddhist monk to become a professor in a Western world. He has written extensively about Buddhism in English, French and Sinhalese. He was noted not only for his erudition but also for his strong socialist views. During his lifetime he was awarded several awards for his incredible work towards harmony.
    (Whatever we are Theravada or Mahayana, as Buddhists we all accept the Buddha as our Master who gave us the Teaching.)…..well said.
    Ven. Rahula was later instrumental in encouraging the formation of the first Theravada temple in the United States. He spent most of his life in teaching and lecturing before going back to Sri Lanka where he passed away. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/ven-dr-walpola-rahula-thero-the-theravadan-academic.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2020 01:03 PM
    This unique group of Malaysians have seamlessly assimilated the cultures of the Chinese and the local Malays particularly into their elaborately embroidered attire and very meticulously .

    The Baba Nyonyas have a very unique style of architecture that brings together Western and Eastern components,The community it self is also unique and rich in customs and traditions.Thank you for sharing a beautiful article.

    https://bit.ly/3q20qqG
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Nov 24. 2020 11:19 PM
    Thank you for an interesting and worthwhile article sharing. Most people experience eye problems from time to time, and vision problems tend to increase with age. Lately I’m too having vision problem due to working on laptop. Hoping to try out this eyes exercise practice to improve my vision naturally and Throw Away my Glasses!.

    I’m going to share this post to all my friends so that many more will benefit from it in near future.

    https://bit.ly/3frz094

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
10 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
10 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
10 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
10 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
10 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
10 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
11 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
11 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
11 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
11 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 year ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 year ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 year ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 year ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
1 year ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 year ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 year ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 year ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 year ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 year ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 year ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 year ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
2 yearss ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
2 yearss ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
2 yearss ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
2 yearss ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
2 yearss ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
2 yearss ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 yearss ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
2 yearss ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
2 yearss ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
2 yearss ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
2 yearss ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
2 yearss ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
2 yearss ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
2 yearss ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
2 yearss ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
2 yearss ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    3 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    3 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    3 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    3 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
2 weeks ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
2 months ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
2 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
3 months ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
3 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
3 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
6 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
6 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
6 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
7 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
9 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
9 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
9 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
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